Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Service-Learning vs. Courses with Service Components

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There are three types of courses that involve service:

Service-Learning Courses

Support is available from CCSJ and the office of service-learning

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Relationship of Service to Course: Service is an integral part of the course; it relates to course content and learning objectives; course criteria involve: purpose; partnership and reciprocity; preparation and explanation; reflection; and assessment.
  • Integrated Pedagogy: Instructor utilizes service as a pedagogy and integrates service-learning into the course and syllabus
  • Duration of Service: Service is continuous throughout the semester; a minimum of 20 service hours per semester (e.g. 2 hours per week for 10 weeks) is generally expected of all service-learning students
  • Preparation of Students: By instructor, community partner, CCSJ staff and student coordinators
  • Reflection: Structured; there are many kinds to choose from

Relationship with Community

  • "Transactional Partnership" - instrumental or utilitarian partnership
  • "Transformative Partnership" - "deeper...more sustained commitment;" partnership "transcends self-interests"

Outcomes and Benefits

In addition to the outcomes and benefits listed for the other two course types below, service-learning courses embody teaching for justice at Loyola by combining academic study and community service in ways that enhance student learning and challenge the whole person. Service-learning courses also:

  • Enhance learning and critical thinking
  • Encourage students to learn firsthand about: community; active citizenship in a democracy; diversity; justice; civil society; personal, moral and social responsibility; and leadership
  • Expose students to an array of diverse perspectives that exist beyond the confines of campus life
  • Increase the relevance of education to students "living in the real world"
  • Challenge and empower students as learners, teachers, achievers and leaders
  • Invite students to become members of their own community
  • Teach job skills and prepare students for careers after college
  • Contribute to personal growth; faith development; improved social and communication skills
  • Personalize each student’s education at Loyola
  • Invite community partners to be co-educators and play active roles in the Loyola community
  • Increase campus-community collaboration and partnerships
  • Contribute to Loyola’s outreach efforts to the Baltimore community, the state and beyond

Faculty Needs

  • Consultation and Support: Ongoing support from the director of Srevice-Learning
  • Identifying Community Partners: Assistance in identifying community partners with appropriate service to fit course and learning objectives
  • Placing Students: CCSJ Student Coordinators help place students
  • Preparation and Reflection: Ongoing staff support from the Office of Service-Learning
  • Assessment: Help with assessment of service-learning aspects of course

Incentives and Additional Support

  • Operating Budget: (Up to) $250 Operating Budget (contact the office of service-learning about request procedures and deadlines)
  • Service-Learning Conference Support: Toward travel or lodgings
  • Faculty Development Opportunities and Grants: Faculty Fellows Seminar (with $1,500 stipend) or a Course Development Grant ($1,000 stipend)
  • Awards: Eligible for Loyola's Faculty Award for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship; as well as Campus Compact's Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning
  • Support from Deans and Chairs: Recognition through annual update process and normal letters from Department Chair and Dean for promotion/tenure files. (For undergraduate service-learning courses; faculty teaching graduate level service-learning courses should consult with their deans about applicability of these benefits.) One (bankable) course release after teaching three service-learning courses (each must average at least 16 service-learning students); i.e., after teaching three service-learning courses with a total of at least 48 service-learning students in them

Courses with Service Component(s) (Not Service-Learning)

Some support is available from CCSJ and the office of service-learning

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Relationship of Service to Course: One or more service experiences relate to course content or specific learning objectives of course
  • Integrated Pedagogy: Partial
  • Duration of Service: Usually less than the entire semester
  • Preparation of Students: Some
  • Reflection: Some

Relationship with Community

Instructor selects from list of community agencies and pre-identified needs. Level of partnership varies.

Outcomes and Benefits

In addition to the outcomes and benefits listed for the "Courses and Service" below, benefits include the potential for students to connect their service with some aspects of academic learning and the potential for students to "experience" experiential learning and bring it back to the classroom.

Faculty Needs

  • Consultation and Support: Consultation as needed with the Director of Service-Learning (Community partners with pre-identified needs are listed in the CCSJ Community Service Handbook.)
  • Identifying Community Partners: Additional help available from Assistant Director of Service Learning or CCSJ Staff
  • Placing Students: CCSJ Student Coordinators available to help students
  • Preparation and Reflection: Office of Service Learning and CCSJ available to help with preparation and reflection
  • Assessment: Varies; Office of Service-Learning will assist

Incentives and Additional Support

  • Operating Budget: None
  • Service-Learning Conference Support: None
  • Faculty Development Opportunities and Grants: None
  • Awards: None
  • Support from Deans and Chairs: Recognition through annual update process and normal letters from department chair and dean for promotion/tenure files.(For undergraduate service-learning courses. Faculty teaching graduate level service-learning courses should consult with their deans about applicability.)

Courses and Service (Not Service-Learning)

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Relationship of Service to Course: One or more service experiences are unrelated or indirectly related to course content
  • Integrated Pedagogy: No
  • Duration of Service: Not specified
  • Preparation of Students: Varies by instructor and/or service site
  • Reflection: Varies by instructor and/or service site

Relationship with Community

No Partnership: Instructor selects from list of community agencies and pre-identified needs.

Outcomes and Benefits

Same outcomes and benefits (to students and community) from students volunteering on their own. (This includes contributing thousands of hours of service to people in need, non-profit agencies, private sector companies, non-governmental and governmental agencies.)

Faculty Needs

  • Consultation and Support: Consultation with CCSJ Student Coordinators or CCSJ Staff (Community partners with pre-identified needs are listed in the CCSJ Community Service Handbook.)
  • Identifying Community Partners: Additional help available from CCSJ Staff or Student Coordinators
  • Placing Students: CCSJ Student Coordinators available to help students
  • Preparation and Reflection: CCSJ Student Coordinators available to help with preparation and reflection
  • Assessment: Varies by instructor

Incentives and Additional Support

  • Operating Budget: None
  • Service-Learning Conference Support: None
  • Faculty Development Opportunities and Grants: None
  • Awards: None
  • Support from Deans and Chairs: Varies